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View Diary: Is there a God? (With Poll) (279 comments)

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  •  Troll (n) (0+ / 0-)
    In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
    -- Wikipedia
    From what I have seen, this has occurred in waves in DK, very visibly in diaries concerning religious belief.  A case in point is a Street Prophets diary some weeks ago of an introspective and personal nature that migrated to the right hand column.  The writer surely lacked Front Pager skills, but did not deserve the pile-on he or she received.

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

    by midnight lurker on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:40:38 AM PDT

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    •  I think if someone comments on the topic (0+ / 0-)

      at hand, even if it is in a direction that most would not have taken it, AND does not disparage the character of the person writing (using personal insults or foul language), then those ideas should either be discussed, or they can be ignored if others do not like them.

      Religious beliefs are opinions, nothing more, and even less than other opinions (political for example) where at least some factual evidence is required to make ones point.  I do not agree with the often general feeling that religious opinions deserve any special level of respect.

      I don't read Street Prophets because I don't believe as an atheist that I should jump around on religious sites.  However, if religious opinions are expressed on sites like this one, then I think it is fair to comment, question and even criticize.

      •  Well, Sure (0+ / 0-)

        That's called reasoned, civil discourse. My original comment was in celebration of the fact that up to that point, that was what was occurring here. There have been other DK diaries that descended into virulent ad hominem and other attacks when topic was religion. A number of those commenters are no longer with us. Street Prophets is generally an easy read and has cross-postings from American Atheist Party, et al.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:17:16 PM PDT

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        •  I do occasionally read it myself. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          midnight lurker

          I have even commented from time to time. I've seen atheists given respect there if they are respectful. Those who don't believe in giving religious views respect should stay away, however.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:51:10 PM PDT

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          •  It depends on your definition of "respect", (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't it?  For example, if I say to a religious person that I find Jesus's belief in damnation and hell immoral, some are able to discuss that or debate it, others shout "troll" and shut the door, even if the topic was people's opinions of what Jesus was trying to say, or the nature of Jesus, etc.  My comment would certainly be "on topic" and no personal insults (like boy are you stupid to like Jesus).  The problem is always what people expect in terms of "respect" for their religious opinions, and I find that far too often, the bar is set higher for those types of opinions, and, in my view, it shouldn't be.  

            Hard questions, holding out for evidence, application of reasoned thought, etc. are far too often viewed by believers as personal attacks.  That is another reason I avoid religious blogs.   It is always the atheist that has to tiptoe around and modify to avoid insulting someone, but the same standard is not applied to religious statements, even when they are quite insulting and/or arrogant.

            •  Unfortunately, That's Sometimes True (0+ / 0-)
              Hard questions, holding out for evidence, application of reasoned thought, etc. are far too often viewed by believers as personal attacks.
              However, I think the Street Prophets community differs from the general DKos community in having more respect for the beliefs of others. For example, within Street Prophets, Wiccan beliefs are not derided as being New Age Woo-Woo or "of the Devil" and attacked for merely being mentioned. Similarly, Native American beliefs as elucidated by Ojibwa do not receive adverse comments simply because they are foreign to most.

              I guess what I'm getting at is that respect involves restraint. I remember a string of comments on a particular diary that devolved into a shouting match over what a particular philosopher/theologian meant when he said something or other that one party was trying to use as a source for a position. You know, stuff like "You don't know what the *&$$#% you're talking about! Have you even read XYZ?" That was not religionist vs. atheist (or in Street Prophets), by the way.

              In the end, if someone is blatantly disrepectful, I would hope their comments would get HR'ed away, but that doesn't mean they have to be engaged by way of reply.

              "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

              by midnight lurker on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:02:00 AM PDT

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